You know you’ve lived in Indonesia for 8 months when…

• You have to eat a serving of rice with a meal in order to feel full, regardless of how much other food you have already eaten.
• You learn to read Bahasa text speak such as “Ia bu ga apa2” meaning “yeah miss, it’s not anything.”
• The call to prayer at 4:00 am no longer wakes you up. Rather it becomes a nice reminder throughout the day to eat, break or quit work.
• You begin to start thinking in Bahasa, and certain terms like “sudah” meaning “already” come naturally.
• Your rescued street cat gets knocked up.
• You instinctively know when you need to get more pulsa.
• You can estimate how long, in hours, it will take to go 5 km in Jakarta traffic.
• You can tell how much rain you will be flooded with by the wind speed.
• You can accurately gauge the reliability of an ojek and his machine in less than one second.
• You order a quarter of your groceries (at a quarter of the price) from the market down the street, who will deliver them in less than 5 minutes.
• Having a maid (pembantu) in the house no longer feels strange, but comfortable.
• You know how to evaluate pembantus on a 4 dimensional scale: reliability, level of care, skills and salary and can adequately do so in 15 minutes.
• You have paid over $100 for good Mexican food and would do it again.
• You finally get used to paying bills in person or at the ATM.
• You are no longer surprised someone wants to take your picture. And sometimes, if you’re in a good mood, you’ll pose to make them laugh.
• You wear long sleeves in 80-90 degree heat.
• Your 4 year old makes her barbies speak with a heavy Indonesian accent and sing in Bahasa.
• If there’s not a price tag, you assume the price is negotiable.
• You have a chance to return home to visit and question if you’re ready to do so.
• You miss your friends to a degree you never could have imagined and stare at pictures of their babies, daydreaming of when you’ll get to meet them.
• You begin to love Islamic holidays because there are not only always fireworks, but no work, and thus an adventure always ensues.
• Ants are everywhere and you no longer care.


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